Curtis McGrath has belied his stuttering start in Tokyo to blitz the field in the men's kayak single 200m KL2 final and defend the Paralympic gold medal he won in Rio.
A rudder issue caused the 33-year-old McGrath to finish third in his heat on Thursday, forcing him to qualify for Friday's final via a semi-final that morning.
But after coolly cruising through the semi-final, recording a Paralympic best time of 41.134 seconds, the star Australian was primed to deliver in the final - and did just that.
After a hotly contested start, McGrath burst away from the field in the final 100m to claim gold by more than a full second (1.077s), with a time of 41.426.
"I'm super happy with my performance," McGrath said.
"Going back-to-back is one of those feelings that I've confirmed to myself that I can come to the biggest event and perform."
Ukrainian Mykola Syniuk won silver with Italy's Federico Mancarella, who challenged McGrath early in the race, claiming bronze.
It means McGrath's campaign to win two gold medals in Tokyo is very much alive, with his VL3 200m final to come on Saturday.
The former soldier hoped the rain would "bugger off" by then and stressed he was in for a tough race against Great Britain's Stuart Wood and Brazil's Caio Ribeiro de Carvalho.
"I'm not going out there to T-bone them or stop them or fight them," he said.
"I'm going out there to race my own race and hopefully I can put it all together."
Meanwhile compatriot Susan Seipel claimed a silver medal in the women's va'a single 200m VL2, adding to her KL2 Rio bronze medal.
Great Britain's Emma Wiggs won gold by more than four seconds with a time of 57.028 seconds.
Seipel crossed the line second in 1:01.481, holding off Great Britain's Jeanette Chippington.
Dylan Littlehales missed out on a bronze medal by 0.012s in the kayak singles 200m KL3.
Australian Associated Press
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